Florida man looking for prehistoric shark teeth survives a surprise attack from an alligator. Luckily he is alright, however he has sustained several injuries.
Jeffrey Heim was diving in Southwestern Florida’s Myakka River searching for shark teeth when he was bitten by an alligator.
Florida Man attack by alligator
Heim suffered a skull fracture in addition to puncture wounds on his hands from the attack in Sarasota Country. He received 34 staples in his head to close the wound from the alligator bite.
The 25-year-old Florida man told CNN “It felt very heavy and it really felt like it was moving very fast. It felt blunt. It felt like a blunt force. I didn’t feel the cutting, I felt a pulling.”
Jeffrey Heim has dived in the river many times before and always checked for gators.
He was free-diving, which doesn’t require a scuba tank, dove in and started searching for megalodon teeth at the bottom of the river. Heim was only under the water less than a minute before the alligator attacked.
Dangerous Alligator Seasons
According to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), gator mating season starts in April and early summer which makes them more active.
The FWC says there is about 1.3 million alligators in Florida. Additionally, there were about 12 attacks on humans in 2020. However, the last fatal attack was in 2019.
Heim says he hopes the alligator isn’t killed and claims he should have known better than to dive during mating season.
Nuisance alligator trappers were contacted after the attack and removed one female from the area. Unfortunately, captured gators become the property of the trapper and are usually processed for meat, hide or sold to exhibits or zoos.
Will He Dive Again?
Jeffrey Heim says diving for fossils is how he relaxes and will continue to do so once he heals.
He adds his findings to a collection or makes jewelry, which he sells. Additionally, Heim says he donates the proceeds to promote shark conversations.
Follow us on instagram!